March 22, 2017

Understanding Your Archive: Document Retrieval: Pt. 2

computer monitor in digital world

In the recent articles in this Technical Series on Advanced Function Presentation (AFP) we have reviewed what storage and retrieval techniques are available for your Customer Communications Archive. Understanding Your Archive: Storage Requirements, Pt. 2, considered the storage options available for long term archiving and last time in Understanding Your Archive: Document Retrieval, Pt. 1 we began to look at how document retrieval techniques utilize your archive.

In the recent articles in this Technical Series on Advanced Function Presentation (AFP) we have reviewed what storage and retrieval techniques are available for your Customer Communications Archive. Understanding Your Archive: Storage Requirements, Pt. 2, considered the storage options available for long term archiving and last time in Understanding Your Archive: Document Retrieval, Pt. 1 we began to look at how document retrieval techniques utilize your archive.

This time we conclude our review of document retrieval techniques, and take a quick look at the additional features that can be added to documents to enhance their security within your archive.

Font Mapping

This is used when resources have not been stored within an archived document, and the application relies on the resources, such as fonts, installed on a users’ local system instead. This technique reduces the size of the file being transmitted. It is often used where a small loss of non-material document fidelity is outweighed by improved document loading times. A good example is when an archived documents need to be accessed quickly by a customer service representative in a call center.

For improved document security within an archive a number of options are available, including:

Redaction

This removes elements of data from the output and typically replaces them with a black box displayed in the document itself. The data is completely removed so that it cannot be searched or read, and is unlike data hiding where the black box simply hides the data. Obfuscation is a similar technique where the data characters are replaced and scrambled to hide their original values.

Watermarks

This is achieved by adding text or an image under the main output. Common options such as inserting the word “Copy” indicate the status of the document and improve its security.

Digital Signatures

This is a cryptographic technique where a hash of the document is created and then the author verifies this with their unique private key. A recipient can then verify that the file comes from the author and that it has not been changed. This is not to be confused with encryption, as the document’s contents are still visible and readable.

These retrieval and security techniques ensure that the documents in your archive can be accessed quickly by those who are authorized to do so, but are simultaneously protected from any interference from those that aren’t.

Next time we look at tagged PDF documents and how they can help with your accessibility initiatives.